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Imhotep STEM Ambassadors inspire the community with global-changing, eco-friendly projects in Ghana

Imhotep STEM Ambassadors arriving in Ghana for last year's trip.
Imhotep STEM Ambassadors arriving in Ghana for last year's trip.

For the second year in a row, STEM Ambassadors from Imhotep Institute Charter High School will travel to Ghana for an eco-friendly service trip.

However, this trip will be different.

Imhotep students will announce one of the Eagles' Day 3 draft picks from Ghana.

"I was beyond shocked; I started shaking," said Shirley Posey, the Director of STEM at Imhotep. "When I told the students, they were so excited. It shows that the Eagles recognize us and the work we will be doing."

In 2020, Posey was named the Eagles' Nouryon All-Pro Teacher of the Year. The prize money that she won helped fund Project Kujichagulia, Imhotep's service trip that started in Jackson, Mississippi, and has made its way to Ghana. With the organization's expansion into Ghana in 2022 as part of the NFL's International Marketing Home Area program, the Eagles partnered with Imhotep to sponsor community efforts in the coastal town of Keta.


Last year, Imhotep took 3D-printed water filters to a school in Ghana where they taught the teachers and students how to print and use the filters. The students put their skills to the test when they built a water filtration system on Anjito Bende, a remote island that had gone without clean water for years.

This time around, the school is sending 28 STEM Ambassadors as they expand their work to help more people and communities. Students had to go through an application and interview process to become a STEM Ambassador and then show growth in their work and interest in the trip.

The program has many major projects in store for the two-week trip to the North African country. They will be serving the communities of Accra, Anayko, Keta, and Woe.

"It's been unbelievable to see the growth of this program," Posey said. "Seeing my students take ownership and want to be a positive change, you can't find that in a textbook. Seeing the work that has been done and the students transforming into global leaders, I'm just in awe."

Posey and her students are building a STEM lab at the Rhema School, so the local students can start 3D printing and using their own water filters. They will also be putting in a new water filtration system designed to be more sustainable.

Recently, a flood wiped out farmlands in Ghana. The STEM Ambassadors will be building an innovative hydroponic system to help rebuild the crops. The group will be teaching local farmers and more than 1,000 students how to build and sustain the system.

Along with their eco-friendly initiatives, the students built a 3D-printed prosthetic limb in Philadelphia that they will take to Keta for a village girl named Jessica, whom they met on their trip last May.


Thanks to Imhotep's innovative STEM program, students can immerse themselves in these life-changing, global projects.

"Instead of teaching students just about coding and robotics, we really look at how we can solve problems in the community through science, technology, engineering, and math," Posey said. "We want to power underserved communities with voices to be advocates for change and develop innovative solutions to solve real problems."

With many STEM Ambassadors being on Imhotep's State Champion football team, there will be a flag football game played on the beach with the students. This comes after players taught the locals about the sport last year and the NFL's continued global expansion in places like Ghana.

Imhotep players who will soon be in the spotlight playing for Division I programs will get a taste of what it may be like to get drafted when they announce one of the Eagles' draft picks on Saturday. One of Posey's first students at Imhotep, Tykee Smith, is a draft prospect out of the University of Georgia.

While Posey hopes they get to announce Smith's name, she knows this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students to represent Imhotep, the Eagles, and the sustainability and innovation they are putting on display in Ghana.

"It is a perfect opportunity for us to announce the pick," Posey said. "The Eagles and the NFL are supporting a group of students from Philly that are going abroad to do impactful work and represent their community."


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